Colcannon is a hearty Irish dish that combines kale (or cabbage) with mashed potatoes. There are four main ingredients in Colcannon; potatoes, kale, milk and butter. The dish should be served with extra pats of butter on top so that they melt over the Colcannon while it is being served. Ok, so this is not one of my healthier dishes but even my keto loving husband had to stick a fork in the Colcannon after I made it. The white potatoes mixed with the green kale and melted butter on top is quite irresistible. It is absolutely delicious to grab a forkful of the potatoes and kale and dip it in the melted butter. If you serve colcannon in individual portions it makes it even easier to achieve this experience. Try serving the Colcannon in individual ramekins with a pat of butter on top.
What should I serve with the Colcannon?
Typically Colcannon is served with ham, sausages or corned beef. It would also make a nice side dish with stew. If you’re looking to keep the main dish a little lighter then broiled salmon with a lemon sauce would work well.
Tips for making great mashed potatoes:
You must dry the potatoes after you boil them and before you mash them. When the potatoes are tender drain the water and put the potatoes back into the pot over a low flame to remove excess water. Stir the potatoes over the heat for a few minutes to dry them out. This step will insure that you you have fluffy, light mashed potatoes. If your mashed potatoes are dense and gummy it’s because there was too much water left in the potatoes.
Return the potatoes to the pot after draining the water. Stir over low heat to remove excess water before mashing potatoes.
These homemade pancakes are super easy to make. Try them plain or with a few chocolate chips scattered inside.
Weekend mornings were meant for fluffy, light pancakes. This pancake recipe is ready in a jiffy and absolutely delicious. The key to fluffy pancakes is baking powder and not over-mixing the batter. If you mix the batter too long you will activate the gluten. Too much gluten will result in gummy, dense pancakes. This applies to all batter recipes. You want to incorporate all the ingredients but it is ok for the batter to be a little lumpy. In this fluffy pancake recipe I recommend you mix the dry ingredients first then mix the sugar, butter, milk and eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the dry ingredients to blend together. A few turns with a whisk is all you need to fully incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. After the ingredients blend together let the batter rest for a minute while you are heating up the griddle.
The batter should be slightly lumpy but all the ingredients should be combined. Make sure you mix the bottom of the bowl.
What is the best pancake pan?
A cast iron griddle works best for fluffy pancakes. Lodge makes a great cast iron griddle that doubles as a grill available here on Amazon. This is one of my favorite pieces of cooking equipment. I use it for steak, burgers, fish, pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. A good cast iron grill will last many years if you care for it properly. After use, wash the grill and dry with a towel then lightly coat with vegetable oil before putting the grill away. This will prevent the cast iron from rusting.
What about the Buttermilk?
Indeed a lot of fluffy pancake recipes call for buttermilk but since I usually decide to make pancakes when I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t keep buttermilk in my refrigerator on a regular basis I had to come up with a fluffy pancake recipe that would use ingredients that most people have as staples in their home. Buttermilk does help pancakes rise but you will be equally pleased with my no buttermilk recipe.
Chocolate chips: sprinkle a bunch of chips on top of the pancake immediately after you pour it in the pan. Adding it to the batter will effect the rise.
Blueberries sprinkled on the pancake just after pouring the pancake in the pan
Sauté slices of banana in butter and brown sugar and serve over the pancakes
Top pancake with Jenn’s View candied bacon recipe and warm maple syrup with a splash of bourbon
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet and Spicy Sausage and Fresh Sage
This keto friendly sausage and butternut squash dish is a cinch to prepare and is packed with flavor. This roasted butternut squash and sausage recipe is surprisingly low in calories. It’s so good, you won’t believe that it is diet friendly. The sausage flavor balances perfectly with the butternut squash and fresh sage. I also add a little spinach to the dish for a little extra color and vitamins. This sheet pan recipe is so easy to prepare and is filling enough to serve as a main course. The recipe calls for a three pound butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into one inch pieces, often you can find butternut squash already cut in the supermarket which will greatly reduce the prep time. Roasting the sausage and butternut squash in the oven results in butternut squash that is a little crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Butternut squash season is almost over so I recommend making this recipe before the end of March. I like to serve it with an arugula salad on the side and a crispy baguette for those not watching their carbs.
Some Other Variations:
You can serve the roasted butternut squash and sausage over pasta with a sage butter sauce. If you choose to serve it with pasta then do not roast the sage with the sausage and butternut squash. Sauté chopped shallots with a little olive oil, add sage leaves and butter to pan. Toss with pasta of your choice and then mix in the roasted butternut squash and sausage.
Another option is to serve the roasted butternut squash and sausage as a side dish. Doubling the amount of spinach in the dish will create an interesting leafy green side dish that pairs well with roasted or grilled chicken. Try serving it on top of thinly pounded chicken paillard.
Tender Beef with Carrots and Peas Topped with Puff Pastry
On a cold winter day I absolutely love to make a big pot of stew. You need to take your time with stew, it is not something that you can rush. The good news is that beef stew tastes great for several days so you can make it when you have some free time and then refrigerate it for another day. You can also freeze the stew for two months so it is the ideal dish to prepare and freeze in portions.
I take the beef stew up a notch by serving it in individual tureens that are each topped with golden puff pastry. It adds such a nice touch to beef stew. I think that serving beef stew this way makes it perfect to serve on a regular night or for a holiday. Make the stew the day before and then warm it up, put it in individual oven safe tureen bowls, top with puff pastry and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I like to make mashed potatoes on the side. Some people like to eat the beef stew out of the tureen, others spoon the beef stew over the mashed potatoes. The combination of the buttery puff pastry and the tender beef with gravy is simply delicious. It will warm you up from the inside. There is something special about slow cooked beef stew.
Just out of the oven. These beauties are ready to be served.
Please note that it is not mandatory that you serve the stew in individual tureens topped with puff pastry. The stew is delicious served without the puff pastry as well. The puff pastry just makes it a little more special. I also intentionally do not put potatoes in my beef stew because I like to serve it with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles on the side but you can absolutely add some cubed potatoes to the stew when you add the carrots if you prefer to serve a one-pot meal. I would recommend peeled and cubed yukon gold potatoes. The carrots and peas add such beautiful color to the velvety brown gravy. The addition of Dijon mustard to the stew creates a little spice and another layer of flavor. You will notice in some beef stew recipes they add vinegar, the Dijon mustard is a replacement The tangy spice of the Dijon mustard adds depth of flavor to the beef stew. As always, you can email me with any questions and I will be happy to answer them. You can also comment below.
Beef Stew with Carrots and Peas Topped with Puff Pastry
Course: Main Course
Keyword: meat, beef stew, pot pie
5carrotspeeled and cut in ¼ inch rounds
1cuppeasfrozen is ok
2tbspcornstarchmixed with ¼ cup water
1tspthymeleaves only, no stem
3dried bay leaves
1eggmixed with 2 tbsp water
dredge meat in flour
heat 2 tbsp oil in heavy bottom pot
sear meat in batches, adding more oil as needed and place beef on side
saute onion in pot for 3 minutes until translucent
deglaze with red wine
add beef broth and water
add tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper
put beef back into pot
add bay leaves
mix cornstarch with ¼ cup water and add to pot
add dijon mustard
bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover
simmer for 45 minutes then skim fat off top
cover and simmer for another hour
add carrots and simmer for 30 minutes
add peas and simmer for another 15 minutes until beef is fork tender
you may need to simmer for an extra 15 minutes, you want the meat to be tender when pierced with a fork
remove bay leaves and spoon stew into individual tureens
roll puff pastry a little and cut out rounds that are just bigger then top of tureens
place puff pastry on each tureen and press to seal, cut a small slit on top to release steam, brush with egg wash and place on baking sheet
bake on middle rack at 400 for 15 minutes until golden brown
You do not have to serve the stew in individual tureens, you can simply skip that step and serve the soup without the puff pastry on top. This will save time and the stew will be delicious. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.
My mother gifted to me her beloved asparagus dishes. I absolutely love these dishes. They have a beautiful vintage feel and are specifically designed to be used only for asparagus. It’s a pleasure to pull these dishes out of the cabinet to serve asparagus. I don’t use them often but when I do it reminds me of how detailed my mother was when she entertained. It’s very special to acquire some kitchen pieces that you can pass down to future generations. There is a closeness that is felt when you know that you are eating off the same plates that your ancestors ate from.
Should I buy thick or thin asparagus?
There are different size asparagus available. Some are pencil thin and others are thicker. If you are roasting the asparagus in the oven the thin asparagus will work great. You do not need to peel thin asparagus. You simply trim off the bottom, rinse them off, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The asparagus will be done in under 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. You can serve them with a little salt and pepper or shave some Parmigiana Reggiano on top. This makes a beautiful appetizer or side dish.
The thicker asparagus need to be trimmed and peeled from below the tip to the bottom. In this recipe I boil the asparagus for around 6 minutes until they are tender but still bright green. You do not want to serve a brown, over-cooked asparagus. After six minutes you should spill out the water and rinse asparagus with cold water and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. After 5 minutes you can remove the asparagus from the ice bath and place on plates. The asparagus can stay at room temperature for an hour so this is a great appetizer to make when you are entertaining.
How to make a perfect hard boiled egg:
The perfect hard boiled egg should not have dark area between the yolk and white. That does not look nice. You need to pierce the bottom of the egg with an egg piercer before you gently submerge the egg into water. I like the Endurance egg piercer available on Amazon. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator 5 minutes before you place them into the boiling water so they are not shocked by the water. After the eggs have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow them to remain in water for a few minutes. Then set them aside or refrigerate until you are ready to use them. You will have beautiful yellow and white hard boiled eggs.
Some other serving ideas for asparagus:
A simple dressing made with Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, a touch of Dijon and salt and pepper
Chilled chopped crabmeat or shrimp mixed with mayonnaise and dill
Shredded Gruyere or Parmigiana Reggiano. Place under the broiler for a minute to melt if desired.
Sirloin Steak quickly marinated in Balsamic Vinegar, Rosemary and Olive Oil
Typical I love to grill a steak on an outdoor barbecue but there are days during the cold winter months that I crave that char on the outside steak. You know what I am taking about; that steak that has a delicious sear on the outside but when you cut into the steak it is that beautiful pink color and so juicy. This recipe can work well whether you are preparing the steak indoors or out. To prepare the steak in your kitchen you will need to have a cast iron grill pan. I really like the one I have from Lodge which happens to be on sale right now on Amazon. The greatest thing about this grill pan is that you can also use it as a griddle and at 20 inches long it fits over 2 burners which allows for even heat and room for lots of food. This pan comes pre-seasoned so it’s ready to use. To care for a cast iron pan you should wash after use and dry well then use a paper towel to rub a small amount of vegetable oil over pan before putting it away. The light layer of vegetable oil will prevent rusting and insure years of use. A well seasoned cast iron pan is a treasure and should last many years.
The steak needs to be taken out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to grill it. This time is used to quickly marinate the steak and bring up the temperature before grilling. A good steak should not go straight from the refrigerator to the grill. In order to have a warm, pink inside you must bring the temperature of the steak up a bit. I think that 20 minutes is the right amount of time. This is also when I quickly marinate the steak in Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and Rosemary. This seasons the steak and allows for a beautiful caramelization to occur on the outside of the steak when it is grilled. While grilling the steak I continue to baste it with a Rosemary brush dipped in Olive Oil and add a little butter on top of each steak.
Using an Herb Brush
Using an herb brush is a great way to baste steak, fish or chicken. I like to use Rosemary with steak but you can also make an herb brush with thyme, sage. It is very easy to make an herb brush, simply tie a bunch of herbs together with twine. If you are using an herb brush when you are grilling on a barbecue you may want to attach the brush to a wooden chopstick to create a handle so your hand doesn’t get too close to the fire. An herb brush will season the oil as you baste and adds a lot of flavor to your food
Plating the Steak
I like to roast whole bulbs of garlic to serve with these steaks. I serve bulbs of roasted garlic on the side. When you roast garlic it creates a nutty flavor that compliments steak perfectly. To roast garlic you need to cut off the top of the garlic to expose a bit of the garlic inside. Drizzle a little olive oil over the garlic and wrap in foil. Place it into a 400 oven for 45 minutes until garlic is light brown and tender.
After the steak is done you need to tent it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. This step is essential so that the juices absorb back into the steak. If you cut the steak too soon the juices will run out and you will have a dry steak. So this means NO CUTTING to see if the steak is done. The steak should have an internal temperature of 135 for medium rare. The steak will continue to cook as it rests so do not over cook it. Use a meat thermometer to check steak or start to learn how to determine the temperature of a steak by touching it. If you push the top of the steak before you grill it you will find that it is very soft, as the steak cooks it becomes harder to push in. So the softer the steak, the rarer the steak. For medium rare you are feeling for a firm but still soft texture. It will take a little time to learn this technique so I suggest using a meat thermometer and also touching the steak so you learn how it should feel according to the temperature you like your steak. Whatever you do just please do not cut it to see if the steak is done. You must let it rest before cutting. After the steak rests, slice it and serve it on a platter with the bulbs of garlic and some sprigs of rosemary.